Alaska News Nightly: November 26, 2007

Government scientists evaluate extent of ice melt in Alaska; Conoco Phillips backs away from upgrade to North Slope facility, and a 100-year-old baidarka gets tender loving care in Kodiak. Those stories and more on tonight’s Alaska News Nightly, broadcast statewide on APRN stations.

Individual news stories are posted in the Alaska News category and you can subscribe to APRN’s news feeds via e-mail, podcast and RSS.

Government scientists evaluate extent of ice melt in Alaska

Joel Southern, APRN – Washington, DC
Climate change is melting a lot of ice in and around Alaska. But federal government scientists quantified some of that loss today at Washington, D-C forum sponsored by the American Meteorological Society.

Conoco Phillips backs away from north slope upgrade
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
One of Alaska’s largest oil producers is canceling a major construction project on the North Slope, and is blaming the state’s new oil tax plan as the reason. Conoco Phillips says they will no longer pursue a $300-Million dollar upgrade of an oil refinery near Kuparuk.

Conference evaluates railbelt power demands
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage
Power utility executives from the Kenai Peninsula to Fairbanks are meeting in Anchorage for a two-day technical conference aimed at meeting future energy needs in the Railbelt. Potential power sources like coal and wind are also represented.

Works ceases at Galore Creek mine
Lisa Phu, KSTK – Wrangell
Mining companies are halting work on the Galore creek min project in British Colombia near Wrangell. The mine was being developed by Novagold resources and Teck Cominco. The suspension was primarily due to higher capital costs and the rise of the Canadian dollar.

State releases latest visitor numbers
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
Numbers released by the State show 1.9 million visitors came to Alaska during a 12-month period beginning in April 2006. Alaska Tourism and film development manager Caryl McConkie says the numbers only show a small shift in visitation.

New survey goes fishing
Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage
Biologists with the Alaska department of Fish and Game are mailing out hundreds of surveys to sport fishing guide businesses this week as part of a continuing effort to better understand the economic impact of sport fishing in Alaska.

Flu Awareness Season kicks off
David Shurtleff, APRN – Anchorage
State health officials gathered at a mall in Anchorage this afternoon to kick-off Flu Shot Awareness Season. About a dozen nurses were on hand to give out free flu-shots.

New online venture strives to perserve Tlingit language
John Ryan, KTOO – Juneau
Everybody talks about the weather, but not many people do it in Tlingit. That could change a bit with some new online learning tools produced in Juneau.

Century-old baidarka in Kodiak
Kelly Casey, KMXT – Kodiak
Kodiak’s Baranov Museum is working to keep a unique artifact afloat: a 25-foot long, three-hole, seal skin baidarka, estimated to be about 100 years old.